Roasted Mushroom and Fennel Soup with Ranch Cream

Roasted Mushroom Soup

1/4 C. (1/2 stick) Unsalted butter cut into small cubes
3/4 C. Heavy cream
1 large Onion roughly chopped
1 pkg. (1 oz.) Ranch salad dressing & seasoning mix
2 C. Sour cream
2 Tbsp. Freshly chopped chives
3 qt. Chicken stock
3 1/2 lb. White button mushrooms sliced in half
4 cloves Garlic smashed
6 Thyme sprigs leaves stripped from stem
6 small Fennel bulbs stalks removed, sliced into thin wedges 
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread mushrooms, onion, fennel, garlic and thyme on large sheet tray or nonstick roasting dish. Sprinkle pieces of butter evenly over vegetables; drizzle liberally with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; roast 25-30 minutes. Mushrooms and fennel should be tender and slightly caramelized when done. Remove tray from oven and transfer all ingredients (including pan juices) to large pot. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and puree until completely smooth using handheld or regular blender. Stir in heavy cream; simmer gently for additional 5 minutes. Taste; adjust salt and pepper. While soup simmers, in small mixing bowl, combine dressing mix, sour cream and chopped chives. To serve, ladle soup into soup bowls and garnish each serving with ranch sour cream and chives.

Serves: 12

Courtesy of The Clorox Company/Hidden Valley for recipe and photograph.